Turkey’s top election authority (YSK) has rejected an appeal by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to annul a local government election in Istanbul that was won by the main opposition party.
Cumhuriyet daily reported that the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on Tuesday rejected the appeal in which AKP argued that 14,712 voters in Istanbul, whose names were listed in the appeal, should not have been allowed to vote.
The party was demanding that the March 31 election that in Istanbul was won by the main opposition secularist Republican People’s Party candidate, be annulled and held again.
This appeal was the latest in a series of appeals submitted by the AKP since the local elections held on March 31.
The YSK held a meeting at its Ankara headquarters to evaluate appeals made by the AKP and its election ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), regarding the March 31 local elections.
The YSK stated that it will consider two other AKP appeals over claims that some chairpersons of balloting committees are not public officers, and another allegation that 41,132 “ineligible” voters were allowed to cast votes in the Istanbul elections.
The AKP’s supplementary appeal came after a controversial ruling by the YSK that prevented local election winners, who were previously dismissed from their public sector jobs by decrees, from receiving their official mandates.
The election authority ruled on April 10 that mandates of those mayor-elects will be given to the candidates who came in second in the election, instead.
Opposition parties, legal experts and critics lashed out at the YSK over the ruling and accused the election authority of being a tool of the ruling party.
The CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu received his mandate to be the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor on April 17, more than two weeks after the elections.
Full and partial vote recounts took place in a number of Istanbul districts in that period due to appeals by the AKP, which lost elections in most of Turkey’s largest cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, in a stunning election setback for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
State-of-emergency decrees were issued by the ruling AKP in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016, as part of the party’s crackdown on dissidents.